Over on MultipleSclerosis.net, we recently shared an article by Dianne Scott about fighting the secondary progressive stage of MS (SPMS). Her words generated a lot of discussion in our community about how MS looks from the outside compared to how it can feel from the inside! The many thoughtful responses added so much to the article and the conversation about life with MS that we decided to compile some of the comments and share them here. Continue reading
As the leaves change colors and fall off the trees and the temperatures drop, most of us cannot help but think of what makes us grateful. Gratitude does seem to go hand and hand with turkey and mashed potatoes and all the other holiday traditions. According to dictionary.com, gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Being part of the chronic illness community, I feel this is one of the loveliest qualities we possess and need to hold onto.
A Genuine Feeling
Gratitude outshines all other emotions. So much so that when you experience it, your smile and eyes shine with genuineness. Hopefully everyone has experienced this feeling at some point in their lives. Close your eyes and imagine one time when you were so thankful and genuinely happy. You may have smiled so hard that your cheeks had gone numb from being so overwhelmed from your love and joy. That moment may have been so touching that even still to this current moment, you cannot come up with the appropriate words to express your thankfulness or gratitude.
I would like to think that most of us experience gratitude daily in even the simplest of things. Some of my daily moments of gratitude are from my dog Lacie, my nephews and family, and when someone holds the door for me. When that happens, I light up and will very excitedly yell ‘thank you!’ out of my appreciation for them and their small act. That moment will usually make my day, and the person may never even understand why I shouted thank you so quickly, but I hope they do.
Tracking Your Gratitude
If you wanted to, you could keep a little journal to help track and find what you are grateful for. In the morning you could write down one or more things you are grateful for or how you will make today great. You could even include a positive affirmation. During your nighttime routine you can write down a good deed or two that you did that day or even some great experiences you had. Of course, you can mix and match or find even more ideas online for doing a gratitude journal if it is something that interests you.
I wish you all the happiest and warmest of holiday seasons to you and your loved ones.
*waves* Hi MS community, my name is Kelly and I am an intern at the MSAA for the fall semester. I’ll be graduating in the spring with my Associates degree in Human Services. I’ve been disabled now for about 13 years, since I was 17 years old. I am a type 1 Diabetic, and have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum, plus a few other diseases. I use a walker or cane daily. My hobbies include advocating for the disabled, playing video games, and lounging with my dog.
I think we can all agree pecan pie is a must on Thanksgiving. This pecan pie can be made one or two days ahead to make you holiday stress free. This recipe is unique and a family favorite!
Ingredients Continue reading
The holidays can be a magical time of year. There’s a different feeling in the air—of wonder and joy, that feels unique compared to any other time of year. Though the season can evoke much happiness and excitement, it may also create stress and challenging expectations for some. Financial stressors and limitations can be especially difficult this time of year.
Holiday celebrations can symbolize something different to each person. Special traditions and pastimes may not center around gifts or feasts. The holidays can be what you make of them. But it’s important to know that for those who may need a little extra help in carrying out their holiday activities, there are resources available to help.
- Salvation Army
- Offers seasonal services and holiday assistance programs to help families in need with holiday dinners, toys, and clothing.
- The United Way
- Provides information and referrals for holiday assistance programs in the community.
- Toys for Tots Program
- Distributes new, unwrapped toys during the holidays to children in need through community outreach and support efforts.
- Catholic Charities Services
- This group and other local religious organizations may offer seasonal assistance based on location. Contact groups directly to inquire of services available.
- Lions Club organizations may also have holiday assistance programs available in the community.
- County department offices of family/social services may have additional holiday assistance and resources.
- Local schools in the community may know of holiday assistance programs for families.
- Community food banks may also be able to offer holiday assistance programs in the area during the season.
Many community assistance programs have specific application deadlines and requirements in order to receive holiday assistance by a certain time. Be sure to reach out to the resources to see what’s available in your area and how to apply.
By Scott Cremeans
I am a ridiculously nice man. I know this. Until… The following is a true story.
My Google Home device: *ding* I have a reminder for Scott
Me: Hey, Google, what’s up?
My Google Home: I have a reminder called you have a doctor’s appointment in 4 days.
Me: thank you, Google.
My Google Home: thank you for thanking me. I guess we are in a thanks loop…
I think I broke my Google home device.
I believe that the key to happiness is genuinely twofold. First, you must Continue reading
By Stacie Prada
It’s the morning of my MRI scan and neurologist appointments. Leading up to them, I’ve anticipated needing to seek support and to allow myself time to process whatever I learn today. I tell myself that test results don’t change how I’m doing. They just give me more information to consider.
The rub is that I anticipate being sad with any possibility today. I feel worse than I did earlier this year. Eight months ago, I learned Continue reading
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and it is a wonderful reminder to give thanks! Giving thanks is a great way to invest in your own well-being. Sounds odd doesn’t it? How can giving thanks be an investment in your well-being? Here’s how…
DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE HEALTH BENEFITS THAT COME WITH BEING GRATEFUL?
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS?
By Lauren Kovacs
Wow, hard to be thankful when MS is a greedy robber. MS has taken so much from us MS folks. The line of…”it could be worse” is never, ever to cross anyone’s lips.
That being said, it is important to find things daily to be thankful for. No matter how small. From those who are in pain and bedridden to the newly diagnosed. Bedridden folks might be thankful for sheets. Others might be thankful for being able to still walk.
Find anything. There are days when Continue reading
With the arrival of November, we’re coming to that point in the year where we have ample opportunity to show kindness and gratitude towards others. Yes, there’s no question that this should be done all year round. But the holiday season evokes this notion even more so and individuals really embrace the concept of gratitude.
Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to be grateful. When life feels like its constantly pouring down on you or pelting lemons at your head, it’s a bit challenging to find things to be grateful for. This is normal. It’s only human to feel Continue reading
Each year, MSAA features the work of artists affected by multiple sclerosis in the annual MS Ability and Four Seasons Art Showcases, including highlighting one artist each month as our Artist of the Month. This month, we are proud to feature Deborah Casteel of Marysville, WA:
About the Artist
“When I was 26 years old, was when I first heard the words multiple sclerosis from an optician. I still didn’t paint again until like 8 years ago when I started attending an unstructured painting class, just to get me started again and see if I could paint again. I still go when I can and have met many good friends there.”
Read more and see additional works from this artist and others at mymsaa.org/artshowcase.